Planet Rugby

Preview: London Irish v Worcester

22nd March 2013 11:00

Share:

Tom Homer London Irish holds off Andy Goode Worcester Warriors

Break: Tom Homer

Lock George Skivington will captain London Irish this Saturday when they take on Worcester Warriors at the Madejski Stadium.

Max Lahiff, David Paice and Halani Aulika make up the front-row. Skivington is joined by Bryn Evans and Matt Garvey joins Ofisa Treviranus and Chris Hala'ufia in the back-row.

Pat Phibbs will partner Ian Humphreys and Shane Geraghty and Guy Armitage will team up in the centres. Marland Yarde, Topsy Ojo and Tom Homer make up the back three. Jonathan Joseph has recovered from injury to be named as a replacement.

"It will be great to be playing back at Madejski Stadium in front of our home crowd on Saturday in such an important occasion," said London Irish boss Brian Smith.

"Worcester are coming off a good win and will come in confident mood. The St Patrick's Party is always a memorable day and let's hope the St Patrick smiles down on us on Saturday."

Meanwhile, Paul Hodgson is set to face his former club for the first time since his move to Sixways.

The 30-year-old racked-up more than 150 appearances for London Irish before opting for a fresh challenge and will be aiming to help Warriors complete a league double over the team one place below them in the table.

Head Coach Richard Hill has also named one change in his forward pack as John Andress comes in at tighthead prop for Euan Murray, who is named on the bench.

The Sixways side have been bolstered by the return to fitness of Chris Jones and Semisi Taulava, who are both named amongst the replacements.

"We've had a three-week break without a game so the major focus for us has been on how we get ourselves mentality and physically prepared for this game to ensure we hit the ground running," said Hill.

"London Irish play well at home. They've got some very talented runners and they throw the ball about. And if you don't tackle them properly they will cut you apart.

"But our preparation over the last two weeks has been good and I'm happy with the progress we're making."

Form: Worcester Warriors have not won on the road in the Aviva Premiership since New Year's Day 2012 but as they head to the Madejski Stadium this weekend. A possible point's deduction for London Welsh coupled with some recent fine form for London Irish mean the Exiles are not so anxiously peering over their shoulders presently. But in front of an expectant bumper crowd in Reading, Worcester, who ended a Premiership five-game losing streak last-time out against London Wasps, are determined to play the role of unwanted party poopers. Worcester won 35-11 when the two clubs met in round five of the Premiership, and the Warriors are going for a first ever league double over the Exiles. The West Midlanders have already been defeated at Madejski Stadium this season: 46-24 in the LV= Cup on 27 January, whilst the Warriors' only previous win at the venue came way back in September 2005.

London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Guy Armitage, 12 Shane Geraghty, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Pat Phibbs, 8 Chris Hala'ufia, 7 Ofisa Treviranus, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 George Skivington (c), 3 Halani Aulika, 2 David Paice, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 Jamie Gibson, 20 Jon Fisher, 21 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 22 Jonathan Joseph, 23 Jack Moates.

Worcester Warriors:15 Chris Pennell, 14 Josh Drauniniu, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Jon Clarke, 11 David Lemi, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Blair Cowan, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Neil Best, 5 Dean Schofield, 4 James Percival (c), 3 John Andress, 2 Ed Shervington, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Ceri Jones, 18 Euan Murray, 19 Chris Jones, 20 Semisi Taulava, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Danny Gray, 23 Josh Matavesi.

Date: Saturday, 23 March
Venue: Madejski Stadium
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Andrew Pearce, Peter Huckle

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs WaspsLeicester Tigers vs Wasps Preview
Exeter vs SaracensExeter vs Saracens Preview
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs GloucesterLondon Irish vs Gloucester Preview
London Welsh vs NorthamptonLondon Welsh vs Northampton Preview
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale SharksNewcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South AfricaWales vs South Africa Preview
England vs AustraliaEngland vs Australia Preview
More International Match fixtures
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , December 5
Montpellier vs Bath19:45
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Leinster vs OspreysLeinster vs Ospreys Preview
Connacht vs ScarletsConnacht vs Scarlets Preview
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs DragonsGlasgow Warriors vs Dragons Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , December 4
La Rochelle vs Exeter19:45
Friday , December 5
Brive vs Oyonnax18:30
Grenoble vs Rovigo18:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Stade Francais20:00
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont AuvergneToulon vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath 25 - 6 HarlequinsBath vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Report
Munster 21 - 20 UlsterMunster vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath933
2Northampton830
3Exeter828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821